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  • Racing AheadRace-ing Queer Music Scholarship
  • Hedy Law (bio)

At the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in 2015, Emily Wilbourne, Stephan Pennington, and I ideated an event on the intersection of race and queer music scholarship to be held in 2016 in Vancouver as a pre-AMS/SMT symposium. Six months later, we wrote a grant proposal and entered the May 2016 round of the Connection Grant competition of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. In July we received the grant and another cofunding grant from the University of British Columbia. Thus our team began "Race-ing Queer Music Scholarship 2016," a tripartite project that included a symposium, a recital, and a collection of peer-reviewed articles drawn from the symposium to be published in the 2018 issue of Women & Music. I take this opportunity to thank those who have supported this project.

I thank Richard Kurth, director of the School of Music of the University of British Columbia, who provided robust and unwavering support throughout the application and execution processes. Isabel Da Silva, the manager of the UBC School of Music, administered the grant funding. Helene Dragatsi and her team at the UBC Office of Support Programs to Advance Research Capacity off ered valuable grant-writing expertise and editorial service. Like many academic gatherings such as the biennial Feminist Theory and Music and the annual American Musicological Society conferences, RQMS 2016 aimed at maximizing the impact of scholarship by collaborating with nonacademics. Following their lead, our team reached out to various academic and nonacademic units at UBC and in Vancouver. David Metzer graciously joined our team and introduced us to Rachel Iwaasa, pianist and director of development of the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival. Nancy Hermiston, chair of the UBC opera program and officer of the Order of Canada, brought us the soprano Teiya Kasahara. Robert Ablenas, president of Vancouver [End Page 1] New Music, offered programming advice. Jen Sung of the UBC Social Justice Institute designed the poster for this event. Kevin Madill, acting head librarian of the UBC Music, Art, and Architecture Library, helped us secure a conference location at the Chapman Learning Commons and audiovisual support at the Irving K. Barber Library. The staff of the UBC Arts IT and the Irving K. Barber Library edited the videos. Peter Fong, owner and pastry chef of the award-winning Ganache pâtisserie of Vancouver, generously donated ten dozen petits fours as preconcert refreshments.

Within the symposium itself, musicologists from the United States and Canada served as session chairs. I thank student assistants Sarah Cranker and Samara Ripley and especially my colleague ethnomusicologist Michael Tenzer, who recommended that his doctoral student Andrew Pettigrew join our team. As an ethnomusicologist looking into a musicology conference, Pettigrew approached his task as ethnographic fieldwork. With grace and curiosity he edited interviews of Suzanne Cusick; Stephan Pennington; Emily Wilbourne; the performers, Teiya Kasahara and Rachel Iwaasa; the two keynote speakers, Deborah R. Vargas and Alisha Lola Jones; and the paper presenters, Elías Dylan Krell, Christopher Nickell, and Yun Emily Wang. The keynote speeches, performances, and papers presented on UBC campus, as well as the interviews, are available on the YouTube channel "Race-ing Queer Music Scholarship 2016." I thank Canada for providing resources and a supportive environment for making this event possible, and, at the beginning of another school year, I hope this symposium motivates us to race ahead in the midst of racial intolerance and violence here or anywhere. [End Page 2]

Hedy Law
September 2017
Hedy Law

hedy law is assistant professor of musicology at the School of Music at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She received her PhD in music history and theory from the University of Chicago in 2007. Her articles have appeared in Cambridge Opera Journal; the issue on music and citizenship of Opera Quarterly; the collection of essays Musique et geste en France: De Lully à la révolution; the edited collection Noises, Audition, Aurality: History of the Sonic Worlds in Europe, 1500–1918; The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies; The Oxford Handbook of Music and Censorship; and The Oxford Handbook of Music and the Body. She...


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